It’s Time For Strawberries!

[Photo: Claudia Gavin]

Judging by the mountain of fresh-picked strawberries that arrived at the office today, it must be strawberry season. This Saturday, Linvilla (providers of said strawberries) hosts its annual strawberry festival, complete with the expected accoutrements of pick-your-own fruit, hayrides, and cooking demonstrations. But if you want someone else to do the work for you, the folks at the Fair Food Farmstand report that they have a veritable ton of organic and IPM (integrated pest management — I had to look it up) strawberries from area farms.

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  • http://www.HollyEats.com Holly Moore

    Just picked up some IPM strawberries (and asparagus) at Fair Foods. I figured IPM was a local grower.

  • hamburglar

    IPM actually stands for Increased Profit Margin. I still have yet to understand why “buying local” equates to my wallet getting cornholed.

    I try to support local farms and producers, but sometimes it is not economical. $2.75 for four ramps? Come on.

    • Amanda

      I hear ya! You gotta spend where it’s important to you. Big producers/sellers get economies of scale that little guys can’t, but even so, on the west coast local farmers markets usually provide much cheaper produce than the grocery stores.
      If this wasn’t an issue I found personally important, I’m sure I wouldn’t devote such a huge part of my budget to it…except tomatoes and strawberries. There’s just no comparison with the fresh, local, seasonal kind!

  • eldondre

    Local strawberries are the way to go. The stuff from the supermarket is garbage. Good berries bruise too easily and.cant be shipped

  • Snake

    You can taste the difference Hamburglar.

  • barryg

    Local is affordable at the smaller farmer’s markets around town. Fair Food and Headhouse Square are great markets but they charge more because the clientele pays it.

  • me

    headhouse is a more expensive market sure, but i think that may be a misconception due to the gourmet producers (john&kiras, garces trading, talula’s table). if you go to blooming glen, beechwood orchards, weaver’s way, three springs or most of the other non-colton tables at headhouse you will find produce prices in line with the other farmer’s markets around the city.
    this got a bit off topic. in summation: local strawberries are awesome.

  • hamburglar

    local strawberries are awesome, that is for sure. Much better than the shipped in, white-cored driscolls. I remember buying baskets of berries from the Amish farmstands in Lancaster every summer growing up.

    I understand that small farms can’t replicate the cost structures large industrial farms can achieve, and I don’t have a problem paying more for great products. But I do have a huge problem with the insane mark-up and price gouging that places like Fair Foods Farm Stand and Greensgrow Farms engage in. I just can’t afford to support the ideals of the “buy local” middlemen cartel, but i don’t mind paying higher, but reasonable prices directly from the producer.

  • http://www.fairfoodphilly.org Emily

    As a non-profit organization, part of Fair Food’s mission is to help keep small and medium sized farms in business. Our prices are based on the prices that the farms charge us and are actually quite small mark ups compared to large supermarkets. The prices are also based on what the same farmers charge for the same products at their farmers markets so that we do not under or over-cut these same farmers. The bottom line here is that you are paying for high quality food, and all of the people and land that are involved all along the way to produce this food. If you want to spend .99/lb for tomatoes, everyone and everything along the chain is getting squeezed, from workers in the field to the soil to the person ringing you up at the register.

  • Jennie

    In the name of correct information, IPM *actually* stands for “Integrated Pest Management.” It is one of a range of sustainable growing alternatives to “organic.” For a really terrific explanation of what this means, local fruit farm Three Springs has a great discussion on their webpage:

    http://www.threespringsfruitfarm.com/content/3756